Craft Talk Descriptions

Session I (participants choose one)

Saturday, June 7, 1:00 – 2:00PM

The World Isn't Flat, But Some Books Are!
Jordan Sonnenblick
Saturday, June 7, 1:00 – 2:00PM

Have you ever had the feeling that a perfectly good novel just didn't have the spark, the essential magic, that keeps readers' interest from the first paragraph to the last?  On the other hand, have you ever read a book so amazingly right that you felt you were actually walking through its pages holding hands with its characters?  Is it possible to break down the difference between the duds and the "magical walking dream books"?  Well, with the help of your childhood memories, a bit of show-and-tell, and a choice Pixar clip or two, Jordan will give it a shot.

From T&C to FIT: The Path of a Fashion Writer, Curator, and Consultant
G. Bruce Boyer
Saturday, June 7, 1:00 – 2:00PM

How does a writer with an interest in fashion begin writing and editing for magazines, and then move on to writing books, providing TV commentary, curating major shows, and writing books about fashion and film?  In this talk, long-time fashion writer, consultant, and curator G. Bruce Boyer will chronicle his own rise, from writer and editor at Town & Country magazine to Fashion Institute of Technology curator and consultant to international firms including Paul Stuart, Zegna, Kiton, Borrelli, Polo/Ralph Lauren, Bergdorf Goodman, and others. 

Yoga for the Writing Life
Beverly Donofrio
Saturday, June 7, 1:00 – 2:00PM

Sitting hunched over a keyboard for hours on end can hurt your body and leave you in pain.  You will learn simple stretches to relieve and strengthen your neck, shoulders, elbows, wrists and lower back.  You will also learn a simple breathing and meditation technique to improve focus and concentration--and ultimately your writing.  Please wear comfortable clothing and bring a towel or a mat.  For part of the time you will be on the floor.

Session II (participants choose one)

Saturday, June 7, 2:15 – 3:15PM

How Dare You: Strategies for Telling Our Family Stories
Mark Harris
Saturday, June 7, 2:15 – 3:15PM

Our family stories can be the hardest ones we tell.  Writing – and writing truthfully – about those who are closest to us almost always demands that we breach their privacy and expose their flaws, perhaps reveal their long-held secrets.  And yet we must do it in a way that feels both honest and responsible.  How?  Using examples of successful memoirists, we will consider the ethical and moral issues involved in writing about family and examine strategies for creating memoirs that we – if not always our families – can live with.

Lists, Recipes and Other Stories: Conquering the Literary Conceit
Carmen Machado
Saturday, June 7, 2:15 – 3:15PM

Fiction that takes the shape of non-literary prose has long been a feature of modern literature.  Writers such as Italo Calvino (Invisible Cities), Nicholson Baker (Vox), Harry Mathews (“Country Cooking from Central France; Roast Boned Rolled Stuffed Shoulder of Lamb [Farce Double]”), Catherynne M. Valente (“A Buyer’s Guide to Maps of Antarctica”), Kevin Brockmeier (“The Human Soul as a Rube Goldberg Device”), C.C. Finlay (“Footnotes”), and many others have used this structural appropriation to invoke wonder, beauty, and heartbreak.  But formal constraints must be wielded properly in order to be effective:  they are tools, not gimmicks.  This talk will explore the unique challenges of using literary conceits, and address ways that writers can harness the structural power of a formal constraint and take their writing to the next level.

Where Lyric and Poetry Meet
Anne Hills
Saturday, June 7, 2:15 – 3:15PM

Voltaire said, “Poetry is the music of the soul, and, above all, of great and feeling souls.”  And sometimes music can intensify the soul of poetry.  So where do poetry and music part ways and when does poetry become lyric?  I have put other poets' words to song, sung poems set by other musicians and had my own poems adapted and set for singing.  Which poems call out to be sung?  Which might be more powerful on the page, without music?  How do you, as a poet, develop as a lyricist and which of your poems lend themselves to music?  Are rhyme and rhythm necessary for a musical medium?  These are some of the questions we will explore in this talk.